A Mandera bus driver who narrowly escaped death at the hands of Al-Shabaab on February 19th this year has revealed he was sacked by the Moyale Raha bus company without pay and ordered to pay for damages the bus he was driving had incurred from the attack.
Recounting his ordeal, Mr.Peter Karungu Mutura, who survived the ambush by Al-Shabaab militia told journalists he drove the Moyale Raha Bus from the Moyale/ Mandera junction well up to Guba area in Banisa before they came under heavy gunfire.
“I thought the bus had run into a stone and was bouncing back only to realize the sound was continuous; I saw the first bullet hit the bonnet of the bus then it dawned on me that things were not as usual, ” said Karungu.
He said he sped off, but with deflated tyres since the attackers had shot and punctured all the six of them and the bus moved on rims.
“I drove with all these difficulties until the steering hardened and I could not drive anymore. We were being followed by the gunmen who were chasing after us on motorbikes. I parked on the roadside and all the 60 passengers on board disembarked and ran for their dear lives,” he said.
“Fortunately, they did not manage to get any of us; only three people were killed when they were shooting at the bus,” said Karungu.
Hours later, police from the nearby Banisa Police Station showed up and rescued them. The police took three people who had been wounded by bullets to the hospital and escorted the rest of the survivors to the police station.
Karungu, however, said the owners of the bus company have since sacked him without any severance benefits.
He said they had demanded that he pays for the deflated tyres and stop asking for his pay for the month of February.
The bus company operates a fleet of buses plying the Nairobi/ Moyale route.